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Israel 56, Us 30, Iran 24, United States 22, Russia 12, Geneva 11, U.s. 9, Washington 7, Netanyahu 5, Europe 4, John Kerry 4, Abbas 3, Kerry 3, New York 3, South Korea 3, Ian Swanson 3, Haim 3, Obama 3, Bibi 2, Nelson Mandela 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    December 9, 2013
    10:00 - 12:01pm EST  

some real study to do that. my closing thought would be that a lot of these compensation rules that we have in place have not changed at all since the 1970's when we began the all- volunteer force. the private sector has updated a lot of aspects of its compensation system to people across the economy. is thet there opportunity for sin changes that would go along the lines of making it more effective. thank you for joining us this morning. that is all for this edition of "washington journal." be sure to join us tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> hello! [applause] journal@c-span.or [captioning performed by
national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] collects the u.s. house is back in session today. they begin the day at noon eastern with morning hour. legislative work will get underway at 2:00 with one bill requiring the justice department to report to congress on child abuse in each state. we will have live coverage of all of today's action with members gavilan. while the houses meeting, c- span2 will be live with financial regulation. enterse meeting at the -- enterprise institute or they will have an limitation of the dodd frank law. >> i got upset. they covered my mental health
work. the first few meetings i had. then they never showed up anymore. one day i was walking in the , one ofuse, this woman i said nobodyle, ever covers my meetings. she said mental health is not a sexy issue.t on we develop legislation. way past the mental health system act of 1980. it passed in congress. wasmonth before jimmy involuntarily retired from the white house. the incoming president put it on the shelf and never implemented it. it is one of my life. tonight >>dy carter
president obama and first lady michelle obama are on their way .o south africa they will be joined by three former u.s. president. george w. bush was already on the plane. bill clinton is traveling separately from rio de janeiro where he was attending a global initiative event. also plan to join. george a chevy bush is the only living president who will not .ttend he is no longer able to travel long distances. president obama spoke over the weekend about u.s. relations with israel. it is a form marked by the brookings institute. centersterviewed by the founder. this is about 50 minutes.
hello! [applause] >> how are you doing? >> i'm good. hello, everybody. >> one of your staffers said you are in a great mood this afternoon, so -- >> i am. >> we're doubly blessed here. so that's terrific. i'd like to thank you very much for being here today, mr. president. the forum, and i personally, are honored to have you join us in this conversation. and i am personally honored that you insisted that i have this conversation with you, even though i never set foot for any conversation for 10 years. so thank you. i'm very honored. shall we start with iran? >> we should. >> okay, good. [laughter] mr. president, polls indicate that 77% of israelis don't believe this first nuclear deal will preclude iran from having
nuclear weapons, and they perceive this fact as an existential matter for them. what can you say to the israeli people to address their concern? >> well, first, before i answer the question, let me say to you, haim, thank you so much for the great work that you've done. i think the saban forum and the saban center has done outstanding work, and it provides us a mechanism where we don't just scratch the surface of these issues. obviously the challenges in the middle east are enormous, and the work that's being done here is terrific. so i want to also thank strobe for hosting us here today, and all of you who are here, including some outstanding members of the israeli government and some friends that i haven't seen in a while. so thanks for having me. let me start with the basic premise that i've said repeatedly.
it is in america's national security interests, not just israel's national interests or the region's national security interests, to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. and let's remember where we were when i first came into office. iran had gone from having less than 200 centrifuges to having thousands of centrifuges, in some cases more advanced centrifuges. there was a program that had advanced to the point where their breakout capacity had accelerated in ways that we had been concerned about for quite some time and, as a consequence, what i said to my team and what i said to our international partners was that we are going to have to be much more serious about how we change the cost- benefit analysis for iran. we put in place an unprecedented regime of sanctions that has crippled iran's economy, cut
their oil revenues by more than half, have put enormous pressure on their currency -- their economy contracted by more than 5% last year. it is precisely because of the international sanctions and the coalition we were able to build that the iranian people responded by saying we need a new direction. and that's what brought president rouhani to power. he was not necessarily the first choice of the hardliners inside of iran. now, that doesn't mean that we should trust him or anybody else inside of iran. this is a regime that came to power swearing opposition to the
united states, to israel, and to many of the values that we hold dear. but what i've consistently said is even as i don't take any options off the table, what we do have to test is the possibility that we can resolve this issue diplomatically. and that is the deal that, at the first stages, we have been able to get done in geneva, thanks to some extraordinary work by john kerry and his counterparts in the p5-plus-1. so let's look at exactly what we've done. for the first time in over a decade, we have halted advances in the iranian nuclear program. we have not only made sure that in fordow and natanz that they have to stop adding additional centrifuges. we've also said that they've got to roll back their 20% advanced enrichment. so we're --
>> to how much? >> down to zero. so you remember when prime minister netanyahu made his presentation before the united nations last year -- >> the cartoon with the red line? >> the picture of a bomb -- he was referring to 20% enrichment, which the concern was if you get too much of that, you now have sufficient capacity to go ahead and create a nuclear weapon. we're taking that down to zero. we are stopping the advancement of the arak facility, which would provide an additional pathway, a plutonium pathway for the development of nuclear weapons. we are going to have daily inspectors in fordow and natanz. we're going to have additional inspections in arak. and as a consequence, during this six-month period, iran cannot and will not advance its program or add additional stockpiles of advanced uranium
enriched uranium. now, what we've done in exchange is kept all these sanctions in place -- the architecture remains with respect to oil, with respect to finance, with respect to banking. what we've done is we've turned the spigot slightly and we've said, here's maximum $7 billion out of the over $100 billion of revenue of theirs that is frozen as a consequence of our sanctions, to give us the time and the space to test whether they can move in a direction, a comprehensive, permanent agreement that would give us all assurances that they're not producing nuclear weapons. >> i understand. a quick question as it relates to the $7 billion, if i may.
how do we prevent those who work with us in geneva, who have already descended on tehran looking for deals, to cause the seven to become 70? because we can control what we do, but what is the extent that we can control the others? >> well, haim, this is precisely why the timing of this was right. one of the things we were always concerned about was that if we did not show good faith in trying to resolve this issue diplomatically, then the sanctions regime would begin to fray. keep in mind that this was two years of extraordinary diplomatic work on behalf of our team to actually get the sanctions in place. they're not just the unilateral sanctions that are created by the united states.
these are sanctions that are also participated in by russia, by china, and some allies of ours like south korea and japan that find these sanctions very costly. but that's precisely why they've become so effective. and so what we've said is that we do not loosen any of the core sanctions -- we provide a small window through which they can access some revenue, but we can control it and it is reversible. and during the course of these six months, if and when iran shows itself not to be abiding by this agreement, not to be negotiating in good faith, we can reverse them and tighten them even further. but here is the bottom line. ultimately, my goal as president of the united states -- something that i've said publicly and privately and shared everywhere i've gone -- is to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
but what i've also said is the best way for us to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon is for a comprehensive, verifiable, diplomatic resolution, without taking any other options off the table if we fail to achieve that. it is important for us to test that proposition during the next six months, understanding that while we're talking, they're not secretly improving their position or changing circumstances on the ground inside of iran. and if at the end of six months it turns out that we can't make a deal, we're no worse off, and in fact we have greater leverage with the international community to continue to apply sanctions and even strengthen them. if, on the other hand, we're able to get this deal done, then what we can achieve through a diplomatic resolution of this situation is, frankly, greater than what we could achieve with the other options that are
available to us. >> let's all hope we get there. >> absolutely. >> you have hosted passover dinners at the white house. >> i have. >> and you know this famous saying -- "why is this night different than any other night?" in that context, i would like to ask you a question. with the best intentions and all efforts, president reagan vowed that pakistan would not go nuclear. didn't happen. with the best intentions and all
efforts, president clinton vowed that north korea won't go nuclear. why is this nuclear deal different than any other nuclear deal? [laughter] >> well, we don't know yet. no, we don't know yet. i think it's important for everybody to understand this is hard. because the technology of the nuclear cycle you can get off the internet. the knowledge of creating a nuclear weapons is already out we have been able to craft an international effort and verification mechanism around the iran nuclear program that is unprecedented and unique. that doesn't mean it's easy. and that's why we have to take it seriously. but i think one of the things that i've repeatedly said when people ask why should we try to negotiate with them, we can't trust them, we're being na?ve, what i try to describe to them is not the choice between this
deal and the ideal, but the choice between this deal and other alternatives. if i had an option, if we could create an option in which iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, i would take it. but -- >> next question -- >> sorry, haim, i want to make sure everybody understands it -- that particular option is not available. and so as a consequence, what we have to do is to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to assure that iran does
not get a nuclear weapon. and the best way for us to assure it is to test this diplomatic path, understanding that it's not based on trust -- it's based on what we can verify. and it also, by the way, does not negate the fact that iran is engaging in a whole bunch of other behavior in the middle east and around the world that is detrimental to the united states and detrimental to israel. and we will continue to contest
their efforts where they are engaging in terrorism, where they are being disruptive to our friends and our allies. we will not abide by any threats to our friends and allies in the region, and we've made that perfectly clear. and our commitment to israel's security is sacrosanct, and they understand that. they don't have any doubt about that. but if we can negotiate on the nuclear program in the same way that ronald reagan was able to negotiate with the soviet union even as we were still contesting them around the world, that removes one more threat -- and a critical, existential threat -- takes it out of their arsenal. and it allows us then to ultimately i think win them -- defeat some of their agenda throughout the region without worrying that somehow it's going to escalate or trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world. >> unfortunately, you're right it would. tom friedman had an interesting perspective in one of his columns. he said, "never negotiate with
iran without some leverage and some crazy on your side. we have to out-crazy the crazies." do you think he has a point? [laughter] >> well, tom is a very smart observer. and i know that my friend, bibi, is going to be speaking later, and if tom wants to characterize bibi the way you just described, that's his -- >> i didn't say that. >> that's his prerogative, that's not my view. [laughter] prime minister netanyahu and i have had constant consultations on these issues throughout the last five years. and something that i think bears repeating -- the united states military cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our intelligence cooperation with israel has never been stronger. our support of israel's security has never been stronger. whether you're talking about iron dome, whether you're talking about trying to manage the situation in gaza a little over a year ago, across the board, our coordination on the concrete issues facing israel's security has never been stronger. and that's not just my opinion. i think that's something that can be verified.
there are times where i, as president of the united states, am going to have different tactical perspectives than the prime minister of israel -- and that is understandable, because israel cannot contract out its security. in light of the history that the people of israel understand all too well, they have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves. and we respect that. and i have said that consistently to the prime minister. but ultimately, it is my view, from a tactical perspective, that we have to test out this proposition. it will make us stronger internationally, and it may possibly lead to a deal that we'll have to show to the world, in fact, assures us that iran is not getting a nuclear weapon. it's not as if there's going to be a lot of capacity to hide the ball here. we're going to be able to make an assessment, because this will be subject to the p5-plus-1 and the international community
looking at the details of every aspect of a potential final deal, and we're consulting with all our friends, including israel, in terms of what would that end state look like. and if we can't get there, then no deal is better than a bad deal. but presuming that it's going to be a bad deal and, as a consequence, not even trying for a deal i think would be a dire mistake. >> well, personally, i find a lot of comfort in the fact that even though the united states and israel may have red lines in different places, we are on the same place as far as the bottom line goes -- >> absolutely. >> and iran will not have nuclear weapons. fair to say? >> absolutely. that is more than fair. >> good. thank you. should we move to these israeli- palestinians -- >> we should. >> okay. [laughter] very obedient president i have
here today. [laughter] >> this is the saban forum, so you're in charge. [laughter] >> i wish. [laughter] >> or cheryl is in charge. >> you're more on now, mr. president. it is cheryl who is in charge. that's exactly right. anyway. [laughter] first of all, before i ask the first question, i would be remiss if i didn't, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continuous effort to achieve peace in the middle east. thank you so very much. [applause] >> i appreciate it. thank you. >> so people talk about an imposed american solution. we've heard these rumors rumbling around for a while. the u.s. has always said it doesn't want to impose. what would you propose? >> well, first of all, this is a challenge that we've been
wrestling with for 60 years. and what i've consistently said is that the only way this is going to be resolved is if the people of israel and the palestinian people make a determination that their futures and the futures of their children and grandchildren will be better off with peace than with conflict. the united states can be an effective facilitator of that negotiation and dialogue. we can help to bridge differences and bridge gaps. but both sides have to want to get there. and i have to commend prime minister netanyahu and president abbas for the courageous efforts that have led to very serious conversations over the last several months. they are not easy. but they come down to what we all know are going to be the core issues. territory, security, refugees,
jerusalem. and there are not a lot of secrets or surprises at this point. we know what the outlines of a potential agreement might look like. and the question then becomes -- are both sides willing to take the very tough political risks involved if their bottom lines are met? for the palestinians, the bottom line is that they have a state of their own that is real and meaningful. for the israelis, the bottom line is, to a large extent, is the state of israel as a jewish state secure. and those issues have been spoken about over the last several months in these negotiations in a very serious way. and i know tzipi livni is here and been participating in that, and we're very grateful for her efforts there. and i think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to a point where everybody recognizes better to move forward than move backwards.
sometimes when you're climbing up a mountain, even when it's scary, it's actually easier to go up than it is to go down. and i think that we're now at a place where we can achieve a two-state solution in which israelis and palestinians are living side-by-side in peace and security. but it's going to require some very tough decisions. one thing i have to say, though, is we have spent a lot of time working with prime minister netanyahu and his entire team to understand from an israeli perspective what is required for the security of israel in such a scenario. and we -- going back to what i said earlier -- we understand that we can't dictate to israel what it needs for its security. but what we have done is to try and we -- going back to what i said earlier -- we understand that we can't dictate to israel what it needs for its security. but what we have done is to try to understand it and then see
through a consultative process, are there ways that, through technology, through additional ideas, we can potentially provide for that. and i assigned one of our top former generals, john allen, who most recently headed up the entire coalition effort in afghanistan -- he's retired now, but he was willing to take on this mission -- and he's been working to examine the entire set of challenges around security -- >> has he concluded anything? >> well, he's come up to -- he has arrived at the conclusion that it is possible to create a
two-state solution that preserves israel's core security needs. now, that's his conclusion, but ultimately he's not the decision-maker here. prime minister netanyahu and the israeli military and intelligence folks have to make that determination. and ultimately, the palestinians have to also recognize that there is going to be a transition period where the israeli people cannot expect a replica of gaza in the west bank. that is unacceptable. and i think we believe that we can arrive at that point where israel was confident about that, but we're going to have to see whether the israelis agree and whether president abbas, then, is willing to understand that this transition period requires some restraint on the part of the palestinians as well. they don't get everything that they want on day one. and that creates some political
problems for president abbas, as well. >> yes. well, i'd say my next question what was the reaction of the prime minister to general allen for john kerry? >> yes, ask john kerry, or ask the prime minister. >> okay. >> i don't want to speak for him. [laughter] >> they won't tell me, but, okay. [laughter] >> that's probably true. >> my last question -- the palestinians are two people -- one in the west bank, led by president abbas that is negotiating the deal, and one in gaza, led by hamas that wants to eradicate israel from the face of the earth. president abbas, as far as i know, says he won't make a deal that doesn't include gaza, which
he doesn't control. how do we get out from this labyrinth? >> well, i think this is going to have to happen in stages. but here's what i know from my visits to israel, my visits to the west bank -- there are people of goodwill on both sides that recognize the status quo is not sustainable over the long term, and as a consequence, it is in the interests of both the israelis and palestinians to resolve this issue. there are young people, teenagers that i met both in israel and in the palestinian territories that want to get out from under this history and seek a future that is fundamentally different for them. and so if, in fact, we can create a pathway to peace, even if initially it's restricted to the west bank, if there is a model where young palestinians in gaza are looking and seeing that in the west bank palestinians are able to live in
dignity, with self- determination, and suddenly their economy is booming and trade is taking place because they have created an environment in which israel is confident about its security and a lot of the old barriers to commerce and educational exchange and all that has begun to break down, that's something that the young people of gaza are going to want. and the pressure that will be placed for the residents of gaza to experience that same future is something that is going to be i think overwhelmingly appealing. but that is probably going to take place during the course of some sort of transition period. and the security requirements that israel requires will have to be met. and i think that is able -- that we can accomplish that, but ultimately it's going to be something that requires everybody to stretch out of their comfort zones. and the one thing i will say to the people of israel is that you can be assured whoever is in the office i currently occupy, democrat or republican, that your security will be uppermost on our minds. that will not change. and that should not mean you let up on your vigilance in terms of wanting to look out for your own country. it does -- it should give you some comfort, though, that you have the most powerful nation on earth as your closest friend and ally. and that commitment is going to be undiminished. >> that was my last question. >> i promised -- we worked something backstage where as long as haim's questions weren't
too long, i'd take a couple of questions from the audience. and he was very disciplined --
>> that was my last question. >> i promised -- we worked something backstage where as long as haim's questions weren't too long, i'd take a couple of questions from the audience. and he was very disciplined -- [laughter] so let me take one or two. this gentleman right here. why don't you get a microphone so everybody can hear you? >> mr. president, i used to be a general in the israeli air force, in intelligence, and now running a think tank in tel aviv. looking into the future agreement with iran -- i put behind me the initial agreement, and what is really important is the final agreement. two questions.
what is the parameters that you see as a red line to ensure that iran will be moving forward -- moving backward, rolling back from the bomb as much as possible? and what is your plan b if an agreement cannot be reached? >> well, with respect to the end state, i want to be very clear there's nothing in this agreement or document that grants iran a right to enrich. we've been very clear that given its past behavior, and given existing u.n. resolutions and previous violations by iran of its international obligations, that we don't recognize such a right, and if, by the way, negotiations break down, there will be no additional
international recognition that's been obtained. so this deal goes away and we're back to where we were before the geneva agreement, subject -- and iran will continue to be subject to all the sanctions that we put in place in the past and we may seek additional ones. but i think what we have said is we can envision a comprehensive agreement that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections, but that permits iran to have a peaceful nuclear program. now, in terms of specifics, we know that they don't need to have an underground, fortified facility like fordow in order to
have a peaceful nuclear program. they certainly don't need a heavy-water reactor at arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. they don't need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program. and so the question ultimately is going to be, are they prepared to roll back some of the advancements that they've made that would not justify -- or could not be justified by simply wanting some modest, peaceful nuclear power, but, frankly, hint at a desire to have breakout capacity and go right to the edge of breakout capacity. and if we can move that significantly back, then that is, i think, a net win. now, you'll hear arguments, including potentially from the prime minister, that say we can't accept any enrichment on iranian soil.
period. full stop. end of conversation. and this takes me back to the point i made earlier. one can envision an ideal world in which iran said, we'll destroy every element and facility and you name it, it's all gone. i can envision a world in which congress passed every one of my bills that i put forward. [laughter] i mean, there are a lot of things that i can envision that would be wonderful. but precisely because we don't trust the nature of the iranian regime, i think that we have to be more realistic and ask ourselves, what puts us in a strong position to assure
ourselves that iran is not having a nuclear weapon and that we are protected? what is required to accomplish that, and how does that compare to other options that we might take? and it is my strong belief that we can envision an end state that gives us an assurance that even if they have some modest enrichment capability, it is so constrained and the inspections are so intrusive that they, as a practical matter, do not have breakout capacity. theoretically, they might still have some.
but, frankly, theoretically, they will always have some, because, as i said, the technology here is available to any good physics student at pretty much any university around the world. and they have already gone through the cycle to the point where the knowledge, we're not going to be able to eliminate. but what we can do is eliminate the incentive for them to want to do this. and with respect to what happens if this breaks down, i won't go into details. i will say that if we cannot get the kind of comprehensive end state that satisfies us and the world community and the p5-plus- 1, then the pressure that we've been applying on them and the options that i've made clear i can avail myself of, including a military option, is one that we would consider and prepare for. and we've always said that. so that does not change. but the last point i'll make on this. when i hear people who criticize the geneva deal say it's got to be all or nothing, i would just remind them if it's nothing, if we did not even try for this next six months to do this, all the breakout capacity we're
concerned about would accelerate during that six months. arak would be further along. the advanced centrifuges would have been put in place. they'd be that much closer to breakout capacity six months from now. and that's why i think it's important for us to try to test this proposition. i'll take a couple more. yes, sir. right over here. >> mr. president, israeli journalist from "israel hayom" daily newspaper. mr. president, i covered the negotiations with iran, nuclear negotiations -- geneva 2009, istanbul 2010. and i came back now from geneva again, where you could see the big change was not only on
iran's side, but also on the p5- plus-1 side, meaning they were very eager to reach an agreement. coming back from geneva, we learned, and some of us had known before, the secret talks america had with iran. and we know the concern you have on the israeli security -- we're very grateful. but how does it coincide with your secret negotiations washington had with tehran? thank you. >> the truth is, is that, without going into the details, there weren't a lot of secret negotiations. essentially what happened -- and we were very clear and transparent about this -- is that from the time i took office, i said we would reach out to iran and we would let them know we're prepared to open up a diplomatic channel. after rouhani was elected, there was some acceleration leading up to the u.n. general assembly. you'll recall that rouhani was engaging in what was termed a charm offensive, right, and he was going around talking to folks. and at that point, it made sense for us to see, all right, how
serious are you potentially about having these conversations. they did not get highly substantive in the first several meetings but were much more exploring how much room, in fact, did they have to get something done. and then as soon as they began to get more technical, at that point, they converged with the p5-plus-1 discussions. i will say this -- the fact of rouhani's election -- it's been said that there's no difference between him and ahmadinejad except that he's more charming. i think that understates the shift in politics that took place in this election. obviously, rouhani is part of the iranian establishment, and i think we have to assume that his ideology is one that is hostile to the united states and to israel. but what he also represents is the desire on the part of the iranian people for a change of direction. and we should not underestimate or entirely dismiss a shift in
how the iranian people want to interact with the world. there's a lot of change that's going to be taking place in the middle east over the next decade. and wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict, violence, and towards diplomatic resolution of conflicts, we should be ready and prepared to engage them -- understanding, though, that, ultimately it's not what you say, it's what you do. and we have to be vigilant about maintaining our security postures, not be na?ve about the dangers that an iranian regime pose, fight them wherever
they're engaging in terrorism or actions that are hostile to us or our allies. but we have to not constantly assume that it's not possible for iran, like any country, to change over time. it may not be likely. if you asked me what is the likelihood that we're able to arrive at the end state that i was just describing earlier, i wouldn't say that it's more than 50/50. but we have to try.
last question. and i think it's -- the young lady right there. >> mr. president, i'm a reporter for israeli channel two. i have been listening to your analysis of the iranian deal, and i can only imagine a different -- a slightly different analysis given by our prime minister netanyahu. >> i think that's probably a good bet. that's more than 50/50. [laughter] >> israelis are known for their understatement. [laughter] and i try to imagine a conversation between you two. and he would ask you, mr. president, i see this deal as a historic mistake -- which he has already stated -- and i think it's the worst deal the west could have gotten. and you would have told him, bibi, that's where you go wrong. what would you have told him? that's one thing. and then, perhaps to understand the essence of your
conversation, he would ask you, mr. president, is there one set of circumstances under which you will order your b-52's to strike in iran? what would you tell him? [laughter] is there any set of circumstances in which you will order your fighter pilots to strike in iran? what would you tell the prime minister? >> let me make a couple of points. number one, obviously, the conversations between me and the prime minister are for me and the prime minister, not for an audience like this. and i will say that bibi and i have very candid conversations, and there are occasionally significant tactical disagreements, but there is a constancy in trying to reach the same goal. and in this case, that goal is to make sure that iran does not have a nuclear weapon. as president of the united states, i don't go around
advertising the circumstances in which i order pilots to launch attacks. that i think would be bad practice. [laughter] i also would say, though, that when the president of the united states says that he doesn't take any options off the table, that should be taken seriously. and i think i have a track record over the last five years that indicates that that should be taken seriously. it's interesting -- in the region, there was this interesting interpretation of what happened with respect to syria. i said it's a problem for syria to have chemical weapons that it uses on its own citizens. and when we had definitive proof that it had, i indicated my willingness potentially to take military action. the fact that we ultimately did
not take military action in some quarters was interpreted as, ah, you see, the president is not willing to take military action despite the fact that i think mr. qaddafi would have a different view of that, or mr. bin laden. be that as it may, that was yesterday, what have you done for me lately? [laughter] but the point is that my preference was always to resolve the issue diplomatically. and it turns out, lo and behold, that syria now is actually removing its chemical weapons that a few months ago it denied it even possessed, and has provided a comprehensive list, and they have already begun taking these weapons out of syria. and although that does not solve the tragic situation inside of syria, it turns out that removing those chemical weapons
will make us safer and it will make israel safer, and it will make the syrian people safer, and it will make the region safer. and so i do not see military action as an end unto itself. military action is one tool that we have in a tool kit that includes diplomacy in achieving our goals, which is ultimately our security. and i think if you want to summarize the difference, in some ways, between myself and the prime minister on the geneva issue, i think what this comes down to is the perception, potentially, that if we just kept on turning up the pressure, new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats, et cetera, that eventually iran would cave. and what i've tried to explain is two points -- one is that the reason the sanctions have been so effective -- because we set them up in a painstaking fashion
the reason they've been effective is because other countries had confidence that we were not imposing sanctions just for the sake of sanctions, but we were imposing sanctions for the sake of trying to actually get iran to the table and resolve the issue. and if the perception internationally was that we were not in good faith trying to resolve the issue diplomatically, that, more than anything, would actually begin to fray the edges of the sanctions regime. that's point number one. and point number two -- i've already said this before -- you have to compare the approach that we're taking now with the alternatives. the idea that iran, given everything we know about their history, would just continue to get more and more nervous about
more sanctions and military threats, and ultimately just say, okay, we give in -- i think does not reflect an honest understanding of the iranian people or the iranian regime. and i say that -- by the way, i'm not just talking about the hardliners inside of iran. i think even the so-called moderates or reformers inside of iran would not be able to simply say, we will cave and do exactly what the u.s. and the israelis say. they are going to have to have a path in which they feel that there is a dignified resolution to this issue. that's a political requirement of theirs, and that, i suspect, runs across the political spectrum. and so for us to present a door that serves our goals and our purposes but also gives them the opportunity to, in a dignified fashion, reenter the international community and change the approach that they've
taken -- at least on this narrow issue, but one that is of extraordinary importance to all of us -- is an opportunity that we should grant them. all right? well, thank you very much. i enjoyed this. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you, mr. president. you've been very generous. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> president obama has taken off for south afrika to attend a memorial service for nelson mandela. board w. bush is also a air force one. former president jimmy carter is planning to join the group in johannesburg. george h.w. bush is the only living president will not attend. his spokesman says he's no longer able to travel long distances. they will join dozens of other dignitaries and tens of thousands of mourners at the stadium. nelson mandela will be buried december 15 following a state funeral. back in house is session today. .hey will begin the day at noon legislative work will get here at 2:00. boats -- vote is scheduled
today. today washington journal spoke with a capital reporter about what they are planning to work on this week. >> ian swanson, thank you for joining us. a number of reports have put out, we are expecting a deal as early as this week. what will that look like? >> it will not be the grand bargain that has dominated discussions. negotiators are looking at any tax hikes. they're also not looking at significant cuts to medicare, medicaid or social security. instead of looking at small is more to their
retirement plans. they're trying to keep that a bit lower. they're also looking at funds by selling a spectrum. looking at a small budget deal. this is part of a different budget process. >> why can there be something like a grand bargain right now? democrats are not willing to do any kind of medicare and medicaid. republicans are not willing to do any tax hikes. ryan and patty murray basically decided that they were not going to go after the sacred cow of the other party. they are trying to get something that was possible. we are not even going to go
there this time. host: talking with ian swanson of "the hill." even if there is a agreement made this week, there will be a budget battle for 2014. caller: one thing this he'll will not do is raise the debt ceiling. at some point next year they are going to have to do that. it is a little difficult to forecast exactly one that is going to be. in part because the economy is it is a little bit more strong. as a result that extends the time in which the treasury department can do things -- at some point congress is going to have to do that. i suppose the earliest it could possibly be is february. it is much more likely that it is sometime in spring or the beginning of the summer. then you are going to get the debate over -- we should look at tax hikes, changes in entitlement. it is hard to see how they are going to get any agreement on
those areas. particularly in election year. host: the house is expected to adjourn for the year on friday and the senate shortly after. a lot of high-profile legislation still hanging in the balance. it is the list of what is likely to make it through the 113th congress. caller: i think the only thing that is likely to get through is the defense authorization act. we will see what gets included. one thing we will be watching is to see whether any legislation sanctioning iran is added to that bill. the administration is doing everything it can to prevent congress from doing that but a lot of members are still interested in adding sanctions to iran. another thing to watch for is
the farm bill. if they cannot get a deal they are going to have to extend existing -- finally the senate are here for and asked her week. they will look at a lot of nominations, particularly after the filibuster changes republicans ran through a couple of weeks ago. chairwoman of the federal reserve, jackie ellen. host: another -- a number of articles suggest this is the most unproductive congress ever. why is it so hard to get anything done on capitol hill? caller: it is divided government. you have the senate run by democrats, the house run right the house run by republicans. leadership for a longtime hasn't really been able to completely
control their members. there is a lot of opposition to president obama, which does not make compromise easy. we are at a unique time in in history where no one is able to get law and order on any of the big things. one last point i would make is that a lot of republicans say they think the measure should be try to fight the battle on the health care law, they're actually more productive. >> we have been talking with ian swanson, the news editor from the hell, they do for being with us this morning. >> wesley depriving me. >>while the house is meeting ere, financial expert,
american and prize as you will be talking about the dodd frank law. centralally this circulatory system of this economy, the gains and the arteries. it really connects what is now the information economy and the united states. we are seeing data traffic on our wireline networks degrees at the rate of 40% per year. wireline firelight -- environments that really connect us all. i would say that americans future is the wireline future. >> tonight on the communicators, on c-span2. >> i got upset with the they called itse
my mental health the first few meetings i had. woman who is one of the press people. said, nobody ever covers my meetings, she said it is not a sexy issue. we toured the country, found out what was needed in terms of the mental, and past health systems act of 1980. it passed through congress one month before he involuntarily retired from the white house, and the incoming president never a bulleted. -- never and limited it. it was a difficult time. >> first lady roselyn carter,
tonight on c-span radio, c-span and c-span three. >> remarks now from israeli foreign minister avigdor lieberman. palestinianon the peace talks. he was iterative friday by washington post columnist david ignatius. this is about an hour. [applause] >> so, foreign minister is your firsts event back. this cannot have been the easiest year that you have spent. as the audience knows, in november, the foreign minister was acquitted on charges after an investigation that has lasted
-- gone on for many years. congratulations on having that behind you, and it is good to have you here in washington. while you were away, a few things have happened. i want to ask you to talk with us tonight about the things that have happened. this has been a very momentous year. somethingstart with that one could not have predicted a year ago, which is that the secretary of state john kerry has led a very aggressive effort to restart a palestinian- israeli dialogue. i want to begin by asking you, this is an issue on which you have strong feelings, secretary that heid that today thought the possibility of peace was very close.
you "in the past as saying you think it is decades away. let me start by asking you whether secretary kerry has convinced you whether it is possible. >> first of all, i understand -- and i'm sorry. not immigrated, am repatriated. there is a difference. understand, why after 20 we are still in deadlock. i completely agree with many of , that i had had
very bad guys. we had very good dollars -- guys who believe this was possible. we had the prime minister in netanyahu, and even in the white plantation. but despite all of these efforts, and of course all of the efforts of the american side, we are in deadlock. without understanding why are we are in deadlock, it is pop -- impossible to move ahead. there is a mistake that i think that i see.
even not from security, and not fromour refugees, but people who think that do not trust about confidence, and credibility. today the trust between the two sides is about zero. it is impossible to create peace if you do not have any credibility. the mistake from all our -- upences in the past until today we only signed the treaties with the government and the rulers, not with the states, not with the people. it was our agreement with the rulers.
i think that we must achieve solutions --nds of comprehensive solutions. >> let me ask you about one part of what accor terry kerry has been trying to do from what little has been reported. the is pretty good at keeping secrets. trying to said he is work on security, and american security guarantees that will reassure israel, as part of the process of thinking about borders for a palestinian state. i want to ask you about whether there is anything united states could do in terms of guarantees, offers, commitments, that would as ayou more confidence foreign minister, that the israeli security was protected, and that this process should go forward? >> first of all, i think it is give up dialogue.
if you're not able to resolve the conflict, it is very important to manage the conflict , and make sure you maintain these fragile relations. kerryeciate secretary keep this process alive rate i want to speak frankly, i do not think it is possible in the next year to come -- achieve competence of solution. but i think that it is crucial to keep our dialogue. know, we live in the same region, and we are neighbors. important that -- to
think about coexistence. we really appreciate all the efforts. today, not great a lot of expectations, because the create expectations in europe and didn't succeed after expectations, you have disappointment, frustration, and after you have the violence. stepnk that it just up by it is a long-term process, it is not a short-term. any securityhear guarantee the u.s. could offer that she would take as moving the ball forward, so i will move on -- >> to clarify my position. security issues, it
is our responsibility, and at the end of the day we must be able to protect ourselves and now, on oureven best friends. may, in the united states you have enough problem's, enough headaches without israel. really today in the united states, you are facing too many challenges. china, japan, so south korea -- from south korea, pakistan, iran, iraq, libya, syria, yields and the vested problems, budgets, health care, etc.. really, we must understand your problems, not only to bring our problems to our table -- our shared stable.
clarify, our main partner in in united states, but not addition to the united states will we must diversify our policy. know, it is impossible on requestwe come with a palestinianson the , and the security council. and we, thursday with complaints on europe. it is in possible -- is impossible to do with understand where can be helpful for the united states with our contribution to this
partnership. >> i would ask you any moment about what other partners israel might look for. before we leave the palestinian question, i want to ask you, foreign minister, let's say that you are right and to this process is not filled with enough trust, it is going to break down but is not as close as secretary kerry wishes. you have spoken often about your feeling that these populations must separate. i want to ask you, if there is a breakdown in negotiations, do you think it is appropriate for you to -- ael to seek unilateral managers -- measures? eve ino not beliv
unilateral steps. we have a very good example of disengagement, and you know would we see today the results of this disengagement, and we example we lot, for speak about supplements. sentiments is enough to gold piece -- is an obstacle to peace. about they aregs really misunderstanding, and misrepresentations because we signed with egypt and jordan. despite the disengagement, iran is forcing grade -- fluorescing. i do not believe in unilateral steps. the past by that i
believe that this may be really the right approach, not separation, exchanging of land and population. separationion, not but exchanging. indoes that not make you theory, the strongest advocates of that solution? publicly, after -- it ish, that is acceptable for me. a been before the elections in before the elections, i gave a long speech and i explained that it is possible to achieve comprehensive solution,
stable peace, and the ability to regulate my own sentiment in my own home. it is not a secret. it was published in all the mass media. and today i think frankly again, i do not see the chance to achieve this copy is a solution. >> let's turn to this very interesting, and provocative how that you made about israel meeting other partners to work with. not just the united states. what i want to ask you, one of the things that happened while you are away from the foreign ministry, the united states and russia began to work together on a plan to dismantle serious chemical weapons -- syria's chemical weapons.
many people believe that that means that russia will have new influence. i want to ask you first, do you think that is happening? second, do you think that is dangerous? and third, could russia be one of those other partners that israel could work with in a way that would enhance israeli security? again, we doeat not have any alternative to the united states. >> i do not mean evolution of your -- >> i think it is crucial for us to understand what we can help to the united states. not only just to use the united states. what we can bring to our shared table. yes we can bring something. we have some value. only to only cry
and come to united states with a question. view, the newof directions that created diplomacy, it is clearly different directions. it is first of all i forgot, and africa,heast asian, -- and southeast asia, and if we waterabout food security, management, i think that really we have huge experience. see the way too africa, energy and infrastructure. it is very important to us. >> i think this audience would be very interested in your assessment of whether russia is
going to be playing a larger role in the region, and what effect that is going to have on israel? >> russia is a completely different issue. , it isd we see impossible to disregard russia to it is very important, a key player in many regions of the world. russians moree and more active in the middle east. course weypt, and of conversationse with russia. and i think we are pleased to keep this is the 30 -- keep the sincerity, and have an open dialogue with russia. i think what we're seeing in the
syrian case, with russia and the they have as, common approach and a common view. it is the able the addition of this approach that is much much easier than all others. . what is your sense as a careful observer of russian tell you what is possible, what is likely with the geneva these conference on syria meets at the end of january? do you think russia is willing to work with the united states for a trip -- political transition in syria? not.think maybe hiss clear that the against agreement between the americans the futuresians is
of assad. the russians have tried to keep them in the game. russian -- the americans do not accept this approach. in any case, syria is a very complicated conflict. it became a real civil war within syria. it is a very mixed conflict. first of all, you have the shia and the sooner -- sunni. different religious jews, and colts, and ethnic relations. it is something very deep, with a lot of atrocities. of course, involvement of
, likeent regional powers saudi arabia, or qatar, or around. same as the the world powers, russia and the united states. course, there are imperatives and organizations from all around the world. qaeda, hezbollah, it has become something very complicated. it is not only enough to have a meeting in geneva. , in my something that assessment, will take a lot of time. it is not enough only to achieve some agreement in geneva. >> speaking of saudi arabia about there are people who say that the needs the public
surface, that one of the security partners for israel beng forward, in fact may the king of saudi arabia. what do you think of that. ? arabiaink the real saudi is in a very delicate situation because the biggest threat from to iranians, it is not even israel. it is to the allies, to the gulf countries. more there, and the biggest question of saudi theia, it is first of all saudi arabia kingdom. they are not so worried about israel. but, it is clear for saudi arabia that the biggest threat for them, it is not jews, not israel, but the radical
movements like the sunni radical movement. of course, the iranian ambitions. but, it is their decision, we know from our point of view we are open from any dialogue from those countries. >> folks, i thought i almost heard an endorsement of a de facto israeli saudi group -- israeli-saudi agreement. it didn't quite hear that. to theotiation that led interim agreement with iran and +1, leaning toward a
final and state agreement. rather than asking you to repeat the positions that your premature has taken, i would ask you specifically as foreign minister what you're only and feeling as. verytary clinton made a expose that appeal, so -- explicit appeal, that i will not go into. are you comfortable with the ofa of associating -- negotiating the deal that is doable? are you going to be comfortable living with that? >> first of all, and it is very important of the size, it is impossible to conceal the disagreements between us and the americans on the deal. but it is necessary to discuss those disagreements publicly. to deal with
atmosphere, is crucial today. as a second point, i can only to compare this eel with the syrian deal. the syrian case, first of all, it was a decision to destroy all of the infrastructure, all of the capacity, all of the means of production of chemical weapons. and second, to take out of syria all of the chemical materials. in the iranian case, the centrifuges that they were agreement,fore the they continued to spin today when we talk to each other. even today, in the nine thousands and 500 -- the 9500 centrifuges.
it is up five percent within iran. and a bigly crucial, difference between two deals. it is reallyknow something unacceptable for the before signingay the agreements in geneva, the supreme leader spoke about jewish people as pigs and dogs. and israel will disappear, and we will wipe the state of israel. we didn't see any political leader in new york, only secretary kerry, he made very about this onion acceptable -- o
unacceptable accusations against israeli and the jews. we know what is the iranian intentions. movementing is really -- we are seeing israeli movement in theory, and afghanistan, and iraq am a and and there are nuclear ambitions. with all of this ideology, with philosophy, it is something that brings all of bad world to very, very reality. what we have today, we can say they, and really open
ar armsng of the nucle trade. today what we haven't egypt, and saudi arabia, all around. ,art of this nuclear arms race it starts with the middle east. in consequence, it is even more serious than the movies that hollywood. >> before i turn to the audience for your questions. i want to ask you one last question of my own. you said a moment ago that you thought it was important to turn down the rhetoric in the u.s.- israeli relationship, and the less publicly critical of the u.s. in this. negotiation. that made me think of a theme that has been in the israeli press a lot. not the israeli press.
maybe the american press. >> what i wanted to ask you was whether these reports i keep reading about a new lieberman are true? i have read that you have become know what, and a different. that sounds a little different. what should we expect will be different about the way you conduct yourself as foreign minister going forward from what we know from when you were foreign minister before? i think you are talking about somebody else cannot me. [laughter] to -- really to not be politically correct them about to say everything what i understand.
and in the past, the the biased press,h in the israeli and our society, that was part of my political life. it was not something new. maybe today is the first time that i feel more people are trying to understand what think today is much easier to explain for me, my position, my vision to and maybe more acceptable. difference between lieberman today, and lieberman in the past. >> why is today easier for you to explain? >> first of all, it is more
about what happened in the court. that is crucial. maybe for some other reasons, but no doubt that was the main reason, because everybody in there before they acquitted completely, it was a huge interest. that was a turning point. >> let me turn to the audience now. let me ask you for your questions for foreign minister lieberman. and may call on people if i do not see hand, so watch out. yes? >> we spent a few minutes, you
made a statement here that i'm looking for clarification on. you said that they are still spending the centrifuges. sameis correct, but at the time they also committed at the end of six months not to have more enriched uranium than they have today. that is the pause button. is that a bad thing? the second question is, why do you get all excited about getting called pigs and dogs? he has his own constituency to deal with, and this is crazy from his side. this does not mean anything to their intent, it does not mean anything. , no value,ubstance and we should not be paying attention to this crazy guy when
he calls whatever he calls us. >> this crazy guy, he may be one, but what we have in our dialogues especially europe arepe -- with europe, they teaching democratic values and how it is important to keep the values. they speak a lot about democracy, and to protect the those values. comenk my expectations not from writing, but from european leaders. salman rushdie continues to hide between london and paris because the council disparaged against him. we do not need somebody really who has a concern about this sentence of salman rushdie.
people,uted about 600 but when it comes to israel, of course everybody tries to teach us what to do them and what the deck the correct values are -- democratic values are. discuss theary to iranian issues publicly, and at the end of the day it is our responsibility of our government, and we will take all the decisions in a very responsible way. philosophy in my private life and my political life, if you won't shoot, you don't talk. at the end of the day it is our responsibility for their future of our citizens. >> i wanted to ask you, thee
50% of the iranian people who elected rouhani, they wanted change. away, isswer is go that the answer you want to give to the merit -- iranian people? >> no. we have enjoyed friendly relations with the united -- iranian people. a harmony revolution with what we have today. in the past, and the times between the iranian people and the jewish people, it is a long the -- history. most of us enjoyed very good relations, and if we have some dialogue with the ready people
-- with the iranian people, it is not enough. usere end of the day, the -- the security of the reigning citizens is our responsibility. we hope to change iran, so they have no nuclear weapon, no it isr capabilities, first of all creation of responsibility. there are many countries that they have nuclear capabilities, and for them to create nuclear bombs, it is a political decision. for example, germany, or japan. they have all of the knowledge, all of the infrastructure, for japan or germany to create a nuclear bomb, that is a political decision. weeks, we maybe seven
will not worry about japan, we will not whereabouts in germany. but we really worry about iran, the newit is not political leaders. it is not rouhani, it is still revolution, and the supreme leader. >> yes? i hand back there -- a hand back there? come up to the microphone. journalistsof those who wrote harshly about you but as you were acquitted, and ialing with serious matters, give you the couple that that you're a rational player. as a rational player, and a position of great responsibility, realizing the great threat of iran, and the don'tnge of the issue,
you think that actually the rational move would be to adopt all were like the planned or something redoubling it? -- resembling it? they would be the one rejecting it. and israel would gain legitimate cy in the real struggle against iran. >> it doesn't matter if i believe, or do not believe. we have signed, accords for more than 20 years. , in my firstcceed
term of minister of foreign affairs, i set my position from the beginning. issue,t involved in this i do not want to be an obstacle, i am in need to give it a chance. but after four years, when i was point -- appointed in 2009, i made it all my best to keep the problems of this issue. you must ask yourself, why? the agreementsign with condoleezza rice in annapolis? >> why not call it both? if this is the case, let israel have more of the high ground by
paul -- calling his bluff. winning the debate, and changing completely its positioning, and be in a much better position regarding iran, where people do not listen to us right now because of ongoing occupation. >> it is not our dialogue, but i think all of our direction on the palestinian region, it is the wrong direction, and we must take a timeout for some time to explain for ourselves why are we in this deadlock. least favor up until today. the second, iranian issue. i do not discuss publicly the iranian issues, and i'm not ready to say something in addition to what i said.
i think it is really syria's decision, and stereo's this vision is impossible not to interview, it is a long discussion. i'm not sure that all the people here have all of the information, and they know to take decisions out and understand all of the this is in picture and details. --is not like and white black-and-white. must take the decisions, not in public opinion, but really in some discussions in the cabinet with people that have all of the information, and are in the -- all the possibilities to take
the right assessments. >> let me turn to dennis. thank you. issue, as you mentioned about a maximal position or suspect the real distinction is not between a maximum position and a doable one, it is what is the acceptable outcome? leaving around as a threshold state, is not an acceptable outcome. the question is how do you define that? you, this issue of the convergence of interest with the saudi's, would you prepare paired -- be prepared, given this strategic convergence , would you be willing to take a fresh perspective on the saudi initiative? me, itknow better than
takes a completely -- it is clearly on acceptable for many reasons. the issues of refugees. to accept the political refugees in israel is to destroy israel. it is a key issue. israel, tos in recognize israel as a jewish state. i think without understanding these issues, it is an impossible really to sign an .greement to move forward we also had a lot of jewish refugees from all of our lands in israel who do not keep them in the refugee camps.
by the way, i did not say that some really care about the palestinians near damascus. 1600e last month, no discussion on the security council, even though we had some protests. , think it also must be clear and the biggest problem was the saudi initiative. about theal item refugees. >> to follow-up, are you not worried about -- as foreign minister, charged with israel's relations with foreign countries, about israel being isolated? isn't that a danger, given that the series of comments you have
made about negotiations raking down to my not seeing an alternative, isn't isolation a concern for you? not splendid it is isolation, it is the biggest problem. we have made inroads in the international community. andant small jewish state, iran has -- we are one small jewish state, and iran has 57 lamic states. i have some friends, when he was in a position, he was the right wing of israel. not two years ago he became a prime minister of foreign he looked ates,
the palestinian visions and stance, and i was very surprised. i spoke with our mutual friend, and he pointed me, he is head of economic problems, he looks for investments. the investments are coming from the gulf countries, what you expect? can understand, but problem's,se risk we must really create the diplomacy, and there is a place for israel in this modern world. , andst be more active there are different directions, and different countries that we somethingfor them
new. technology, resources etc. it is a little bit bizarre to .ddress this lieberman, prime minister netanyahu shared with you the intimate details of a talk, and he said what do you think about kerry stated that today? >> i really don't know. maybe it was something dramatic, something new. i came from new york, i was the last three days in new york.
my feelings, we have heard a lot design, but i'm not sure that it is possible. are reallye that we sold. achis so easy to reach -- bre this, especially when we are so close to some kind of internal agreement. i think it is something very not deviate must from the trust and credibility. >> you didn't answer the first part of the question? he shared with you the details? >> no. >> not today. on a regular day. >> of course.
least three or four times every day. course, i want all assessment is a different assessment beside us sharing the same information. >> so you have disagreements with the prime minister? [laughter] it is not a secret, you know. [laughter] >> is there anything you would like to share with this audience about the negotiations? we are all very curious about where this stands. you're not happy about where this dance, so anything you want to tell us about it? >> it is not a question of if i'm happy, i think all of israel
we're are looking for peace and solutions, and possibility. we want vibrant democracy in all of this region. look around us. whathappens in syria, happens in libya, and what happens in lebanon, and egypt, in iraq? also, you must appreciate and not so easy tois keep democracy, to keep ross parity -- prosperity, in these very difficult conditions. make a breakthrough, to achieve copperheads of solution with the palestinians today, it is like enough to lay down a fan -- and -- the foundation.
has very divided -- no entity. represented of the people of gaza. he postponed his presidential elections for more than three years. really, you can imagine in any number of chronic country, and somebody was to postpone his electric -- election for three years, all of the problems in our region, we are still trying to achieve peace and stability with all our neighbors. it is misunderstandings in
twoel, you have to camps -- camps. one camp wants peace, and the war. one wants we have some disagreement on the best way to achieve peace and stability. >> levitate a final question -- let me take a final question. i do not a question, know if you saw the gatekeepers, but five former heads of shin bet talked about how the occupation was corrupting the soul of the israeli population. agreestion is, do you that there has been an erosion -- to speak about do fee the five heads of shin bet. >> regardless, there is a
serious issue, and you have said you don't really want to talk about the palestinian issue, although you have to a degree. >> i keep myself far from the palestinian issue. >> but do you think that the occupation is indeed really eroding the moral fiber of the israeli community? there've been several journalists who have talked about it. since the instability of the middle east have brought a credit to the doorstep of israel, with them getting footholds and syria, iraq and other places, are you concerned assad and the palestinian authority may seem like lambs compared to what you may have to
deal with if they got into the west bank? >> thank you. i completely disagree with you. important to it is clarify the first point. i do not see any occupation. to speak about occupation, and does not understand the history of this region and the facts. authority, and the palestinian state did not exist before 1967. before then, they were divided between two countries. it was under full arab control -- control.eo was --ish community
before 1967. to talk about occupation, it is a misunderstanding of this region. not why people think that the palestinian state existed before 1967, or even in history. , 21,000 square kilometers, we are willing to share with our neighbors and sacrifice. israel made real steps in order to establish peace in this region of and would give up sinai, would give up half of samaria.
we proved our real desire to achieve peace, and to speak about occupation, it is really prejudiced, biased approach to this problem. it is not a problem of territory, it is completely different programs. thisl never accept approach to speak about the occupation, as an obstacle to peace. the facts and history are clearly different. thank you. >> i want to thank anybody who spends an hour answering questions. i appreciate it. and i know we all appreciate you being here to take our questions. it is good have you back in washington. we look forward to talking to you. >> it is good to be back. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we are
dispersed for the evening. i have a few key announcements. tomorrow we have some very special guest joining us. for those of you who are important it is very that you meet with us tomorrow a.m. toupstairs by 8:30 get your registration materials, and to learn about the security procedures for tomorrow. thank you very much for being with us.
>> the u.s. house is gambling and after it's thanksgiving recess. now to live coverage. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 9, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable jeff denham to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: